Soon you will watch “A Charlie Brown Christmas” and hear Lucy say, “We all know that Christmas is a big commercial racket.” Christmas decorations have been intertwined with Halloween and Thanksgiving decorations for months. I like the decorations, but it does make my whole family want to buy more of them when we have plenty.
We try to keep our children out of the traffic of Christmas advertising. We don’t shop much, we try to stay clear of commercials, and our children aren’t on social media. However, we do intentionally take our children to the mall at least one time before Christmas to do some social training on consumerism.
Here are some activities to make that processing more fun:
- Count smiling people. As you walk around the mall with your children, ask them to count how many people they see in two or three minutes who are carrying bags and have a smile on their faces. The numbers are usually very low.
- Count the boxes and bags. Sit on a bench and ask them to count how many people have more than five bags or boxes. Ask your children what they think is in the bags and who the gifts might be for. What people really need is the gift of Jesus. Pray for those people to have a relationship with Jesus and share Him as a gift to those they love.
- Compare whether people look content or stressed. Talk to your children about true contentment and peace only existing in Jesus. Ask your child to look at the people passing and whisper whether people look content and peaceful or stressed and anxious. Remind your children that this is a season for celebrating the Prince of Peace.
- Brainstorm what might be causing shoppers stress. Help your children come up with a list of things that might be causing people stress. Here are some thoughts to start the conversation:
- Not having preplanned gifts for loved ones, so they are feeling the pressure of rushed shopping.
- They might be experiencing a hard season of life from work, school, health, or relationships causing them stress.
- They may not have enough money to buy the Christmas gifts they would like or are choosing to put all their purchases on a credit card causing stress about paying off debt.
- They might have a headache or be hungry.
- Pray for the shoppers who pass by. This is a great chance to help your children ask for help for people they don’t know. They can pray for God to give the shoppers salvation, contentment, peace, good health, and joy.
Yet true godliness with contentment is itself great wealth. After all, we brought nothing with us when we came into the world, and we can’t take anything with us when we leave it. So if we have enough food and clothing, let us be content. 1 Timothy 6:6-8
How do you teach your children about contentment?